Glagow Apollo Review - - Sounds - Sat 18th Oct

Glagow Apollo Review - - Sounds
18 October 1975

"IF I HAD to attend a Roxy Music gig, I'd go to Glasgow." - Bryan Ferry.

Jonh Inghan for Sounds

Clothes-wise, it was definitely low rent: T-shirts and sweaters, levis and stovepipes, Manzanera in a black jumpsuit with subtle touches like pleats across the yoke, Ferry looking like an AWOL GI. Only singers Doreen Chanter and Maggie Sullivan showed real class with powder blue WRAF uniforms, mercilessly nipped at the waist to emphasise breasts and hips. Musically, the same restraint applied. Entering to avant tape noises and audience pandemonium the band slowly took over, but it wasn't until Paul Thompson smashed into his kit that the kids realised the tape was no longer operative.

When Ferry strolled on singing `Sentimental Fool', the place erupted in a storm of flashbulbs and cheering. Throughout the first hour the band alternated between new songs and a smattering from earlier times, but whereas before there had been rampaging instrumental sections, now all was subjugated to the song. One had to actually sit and listen. In tune with this new profile Ferry no longer sashays as of old, content to turn his back during solos or concentrating on playing keyboards, attending to them more than any time since the group's earliest days. His singing is almost natural, affections building from experienced emotions rather than pretended dilletantism. Between-song chatter is as minimal as ever - it's implicitly understood that everyone knows every song, even the new ones but on their third and last night he seemed to be a little . . . mellow, emitting whoops, talking more, acting more relaxed. In fact, he was almost like a normal rock star; an interesting sight.

As the songs unrolled in all their drama and majesty an R & B feel seemed to pervade. Both Thompson and Gustafson were exemplary, with Manzanera dropping into a support role occasionally. He and MacKay tended to add textures and counterpoints for the first hour, until Phil stepped forth with a beautiful, precise `Diamond Head', followed by Andy's raging `Wild Weekend'. The juxtaposition looks odd on paper but was great - the audience knew and loved both equally. When Bryan returned, the raging guitar of `The In Crowd' ensured that the Roxy of old was stiff around, and the rest of the set, sophisticated reworkings of old faves, had the crowd on their feet in cheering, of beat clapping frenzy. The band broke out of their studiousness, Mackay duckwalking and posing with Manzanera, the two girls gyrating and fingerpopping. Their position at times seemed a bit superfluous, but during the last numbers a gaggle of girls assembled beneath them, copying every gesture, and their role became clear: surrogate audience.

On the last night, a second encore. Reading from a page of lyrics Ferry sang `A Hard Rain', the audience-gone of whom had probably heard the original singing along. Already some of them had khaki shirts and a black tie neatly tucked between the second and third buttons. During the last verse Bryan ran out of paper and finished off in a display of "bom-boms", mumbles and scatting. A great moment.

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